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Beth Cox Report: April 2015

Dear Loyal Readers, Authors, and Publishers,

I'd like to share with you a news story that just broke. The Obama administration is about to announce its plans to give access to 10,000 e-books to low-income American children, by working with publishers and libraries:

Apparently, five of the biggest publishers (among others) are cooperating in the endeavor: Macmillan, Simon & Schuster Inc, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group Inc, and HarperCollins Publishers LLC. Furthermore, companies such as Apple are pledging money and electronic devices to low-income schools.

I feel that specific programs like this - concerted efforts to promote literacy and library usage, especially among the impoverished - are a light to a better future for everyone. I dearly hope this effort gains universal public and political support, just as it has already garnered a heartwarming amount of financial support from private corporations.

At the same time, I feel that the value of sharing physical books shouldn't be overlooked. That's why April's Link of the Month is Little Free Library:

This is a grass-roots effort to distribute books to the public through a "take a book, leave a book" approach. Anyone can get involved, and they currently have an ongoing Kickstarter project at

in which they're trying to raise $50,000 to get books into the hands of more people.

April's Book of the Month is shrewd choice for both young people and adults, and is especially worthy of public and school library collections (or Little Free Libraries, or library ebook rosters, or any other book-sharing venue!)

Debunk It!
John Grant
Zest Books
35 Stillman Street, Suite 121, San Francisco, CA, 94107
9781936976683, $12.99, 288pp,

We live in an era of misinformation, much of it spread by authority figures, including politicians, religious leaders, broadcasters, and, of course, apps and websites. With so much bogus information coming from so many sources, how can anyone be expected to discover the truth? In "Debunk It!: How to Stay Sane in a World of Misinformation", author John Grant uses modern, ripped-from-the-headlines examples to clearly explain how to identify bad evidence and poor arguments. He provides a roundup of the rhetorical tricks people use when attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, and even offers advice about how to take these unscrupulous pundits down. So if you're tired of hearing blowhards spouting off misinformation about climate change, history, evolution, medicine, and more, "Debunk It!" is the book for you. "Debunk It" is the ultimate guide for young readers seeking a firmer footing in a world that's full of holes. A "must" for every school and community library collection, "Debunk It!" is a critically important read for critically important thinking in an age of pervasive internet-based misinformation, political and corporate propaganda. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Debunk It!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

That's all for the April 2015 Beth Cox Report. To share books is to share hope.

Bethany Cox
Managing Editor
The Midwest Book Review

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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